As the federal government moves to stifle the science and action around climate change, we turn to practical family decision-making and our own individual actions. Daria Mark, electrical engineer and leader of the Renewables and Energy Efficiency Task Force for Mothers Out Front, will present 10 concrete ways to cut the energy use in your home, in both electricity and heating/cooling.
This presentation points the way we, as individual energy consumers, can lower our carbon impact and our energy bills. Collected from personal experience and from the work of families around the area, the presentation includes pointers learned from years of saving electricity in her own home and dozens of conversations with families in the Boston area about their efforts to get fossil fuels out of their homes.
To share the flyer for this event, please download the PDF.
This years's gas leaks tagging event will also include markers for town trees that have been killed by gas leaks.
Did you see one of these signs on the streets of Brookline?
- These signs and stencils mark the more than 400 sites in Brookline where a tree has been killed or damaged by underground natural gas leaks.
- Arborists found that Brookline has lost over $1 million worth of trees to these leaks.
- The methane gas in these leaks, is a potent contributor to climate change and human health impacts.
- National Grid is responsible for the leaks, but they have no mandate or incentive to fix them unless there is a risk of explosion.
- You are paying for the leaked natural gas. National Grid is permitted by law to charge you for the losses in its system.
- The Town of Brookline sued National Grid in 2007 over the lost trees. After 10 years, the lawsuit recently settled for $x, about one quarter the value of the dead trees.
- Lost trees cost Brookline about $1000 each to replace, and until those small trees mature, they will not provide the shade, soil retention, CO2 absorption and beauty of those lost.
- Many of the natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts are over 100 years old. Across the Commonwealth, there are over 15,000 leaks in the system, having a greater collective impact on the climate than all the cars we drive.
- Other states, including Texas and Pennsylvania, that have passed laws requiring the gas companies to pay for the gas lost through leaks, have seen the leaks rapidly fixed.
What You Can Do:
- Find out where gas leaks are located near your home.
- Learn how to identify whether a tree has been damaged by natural gas [link to page with that explanation].
- Make some noise! National Grid is following the tweets, posts and op-eds on this issue. Ask them to prioritize fixing gas leaks near street trees using the hashtags #BrooklineGhostTrees and #FixBigGasLeaks.
- Ask your representatives to support legislation requiring gas companies to pay for the leaked gas instead of you, the customer.
- Do not call your town officials. They cannot fix the leaks.
- Join and follow Mothers Out Front, Gas Leaks Allies and others.
- Mothers Out Front in MA includes fixing gas leaks in its top three priorities.
- HEET is pioneering solutions by mapping the gas leaks and helping identify the highest volume leaks.
- The Gas Leaks Allies pull together these and other groups to team up and work towards solutions.
- Dr. Nathan Phillips, a plant physiologist at Boston University, has done extensive research on gas leaks and their impact on trees.
- Bob Ackley is credited with bringing this issue into the spotlight.
"The climate movement’s biggest failure has been its inability to successfully make the case that natural gas is not a clean replacement for other fossil fuels."
Bill McKibben, in an article for Yale Environment 360
We're In This Together: Battling for Clean Energy and Fighting Fracking from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts
On Tuesday, May 15th, you are invited to an evening with community leaders from the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania, at the other end of the fracked gas pipelines that connect to Massachusetts. Families, landowners, and whole communities there have been deeply impacted by intensive development of fracking wells and facilities, and their struggle connects directly with our use of fossil fuels in the Northeast. Pennsylvania activists sharing their powerful stories will include Lois Bjornson, Craig Leland Stevens, Brian Latkanich and Jane Worthington.
Free and open to the public. Donations encouraged to contribute to building-use fees and JP Forum expenses.
Wheelchair accessible. Sponsored by Clean Water Action, Mothers Out Front, the Mass Power Forward coalition, Resist the Pipeline and the Jamaica Plain Forum.